Polls Say Sullivan Leads Anchorage Mayoral Race, Prop 5 Could Be Close

It’s election season in Anchorage and you can’t drive around the city without seeing signs for incumbent Mayor Dan Sullivan and challenger Paul Honeman. But there are actually six candidates running for mayor. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton explains.

KSKA and KAKM invited all the mayoral candidates to appear on our ‘Running’ program last week. Four candidates accepted: Dan Sullivan, Paul Honeman, Phil Isely and Bob Lupo. Sullivan, who has served as mayor for the past three years, maintains he’s doing a good job and should be re-elected.

“When I ran three years ago I said I was going to restore fiscal discipline to the city. I was going to work on getting crime, particularly violent crime down. I wanted to take a leadership role in energy for Southcentral. And I wanted to work to maintain our public assets. I think we’ve done a good job in all those areas.”

Honeman who, after a long career in law enforcement, has served on the Anchorage Assembly for the past two years, representing East Anchorage. He says he is running for mayor for three reasons.

“The first is to restore the public process in municipal government. The second is to restore your faith in municipal government. The third is to restore your faith in the budget and finances of the municipality. And lastly, I believe we must perform our services and programs of the municipality better.”

The candidates are divided on several issues, including the controversial Proposition 5, The Anchorage Equal Rights Amendment. It would add to municipal code protections in housing and employment for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Sullivan opposes the measure. He vetoed a similar measure that passed the assembly in 2009.

“And the reason I did was that after literally 800 people testified. About half  for and about half against. There was not one single documented incident where somebody has lost their job or lost their housing because of their sexuality. You know in 2012. It’s just silly that we’re even debating whether or not people are equal and that they deserve equal rights and respect”

Phil Isley and Bob Lupo have both run previously but without success. Neither has served in public office.

“I’m honest, I’m old, I’ve been a resident here for 31 years.”

That’s 71 year-old Lupo, who has served in the military and taught electronics at the University of Alaska.

Phil Isley says he is running to give people a choice.

“I’d like to point out that there’s 4 other candidates, although sometimes your may not notice that because we don’t get much coverage in the news.”

Isley says he’d like to see more people involved with their government and change it.

“I believe we can change it. I’d like to see us change it more ah probably to make it more like it was when I was younger to where we had uh more industry, more private sector business.”

Jacob Seth Kern and Bruce J. Lemke also are running, but neither has actively campaigned.

According to a poll conducted last week by Dittman Research & Communications, Sullivan leads Honeman by a large margin. Matt Larkin is the president of Dittman and he managed the telephone poll. Larkin says pollsters asked voters whether they were voting for Sullivan or Honeman.

“56 percent responded Dan Sullivan, 35 percent Paul Honeman, eight percent are undecided and one percent indicated they intend to vote for somebody else. That indicates very strong support for current Mayor Sullivan.”

Another poll by Dittman Research and Communications found support for Proposition 5. About 50 percent said they would vote yes, while 41 percent said no. Some nine percent said they were undecided. Voters also will decide on seven other ballot measures. The polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm across Anchorage on Tuesday.

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